David Mura: " I'm interested in the connections that can occur between people of different backgrounds"

Categories: Books, Spoken Word
Photo by Doug Beadsley
David Mura
David Mura will be celebrating the publication of his new book of poetry, The Last Incantations, on Friday with a reading at the Loft. The evening will double as a memorial for his late Aunt Ruth, who was a huge inspiration to Mura. Since her birthday was on March 28, Mura wanted to celebrate her life, especially as his other Aunt Ruby honered Ruth's wishes not to have a funeral last fall.

"I want to dedicate this reading to my Aunt Ruth, to commemorate her passing and her life and her gifts to me," Mura says. The reading will include performances by several of Mura's friends and collaborators, including Alexs Pate, Ed Bok Lee, Bao Phi, and Julianna Pegues. Before the event, we chatted with Mura over email about the new book, as well as his thoughts on poetry and writing.

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Labor Day is the most popular book in Minnesota

Categories: Books
So. Itemizing popular media by state? Apparently it's a thing now. Last week, it was announced that Metric is the most popular band in Minnesota (but then later it was discovered that Daft Punk was actually the top group). This week, Parade has figured out which books are the most popular by state, using e-book app Scribd.

The results are really odd.

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books, lists

Ancestry Books coming to north Minneapolis this summer

Thumbnail image for chaun_webster.jpg
Photo by Connie Beckers
Chaun Webster and Verna Wong in front of what will be their new bookstore
North Minneapolis is getting a new bookstore care of Chaun Webster, director of Free Poet's Press, and his wife, Verna Wong, a teacher in the Anoka-Hennepin School District. The two have signed a 16-month lease at 2205 Lowry Avenue, between Northland Hardware and Lowry CafĂ© (the space previously housed Goddess of Glass). They hope to be up and running by the time school gets out in June. The duo are currently fundraising for the store, which will be called Ancestry Books, through a Kickstarter campaign that ends March 8.

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Year in Review 2013: Literature

Categories: Books
This year has been a solid-gold one for the literary scene, bringing in collaborative projects, audience engagement, star-studded showcases, and, of course, fabulous literature to the good old Twin Cities. Let's take a moment to set aside our modest Midwestern tendencies, and proceed to "ooh and ah" about what happened on the local scene in 2013.

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Riverside Plaza complex book seeks stories from past and present residents

Categories: Books
Minnesota Local History & Historic Preservation
The Riverside Plaza has been a part of Minneapolis's Cedar-Riverside neighborhood since 1972. At the time of its completion, the building, designed by Ralph Rapson, was hailed as a major achievement in urban revitalization. There have been some rough years for the complex since then, as well as good: It recently made the National Register of Historic Places list, and is being rehabbed using federal rehab tax credits.

The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (PAM) is working on publishing a book on the history of Riverside Plaza, and is looking for residents both past and present to share their experiences living there.

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President Obama book shops, purchases 3 books by MN authors

Categories: Books
Politicians: They're just like us. Last Saturday, folks across America took to local boutiques, stores, and pop-up events in support of Small Business Saturday. President Obama was part of that crowd, as well. He and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, took a trip to an independent bookstore to pick up some gifts.

Of the 21 books he purchased at Politics and Prose, a local independent coffeehouse and bookstore, three were by Minnesota writers.

See also:
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and beyond: Shop local this season at these special events

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Goodnight Loon puts Minnesota spin on classic children's book

Categories: Books
Are you getting tired of reading Goodnight Moon to your kid every night before bed? Two creative types living in Minnesota and Wisconsin have re-imagined the beloved book into a homage to the North Woods region of the Midwest (and Canada). Their indiegogo campaign seeks to raise funds to print the publication while also benefiting a few great causes.
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See Reese Witherspoon transform into Cheryl Strayed as shooting begins on movie version of Wild

Categories: Books, Film and TV
image of Strayed courtesy the author
Strayed about 900 miles and two months into her hike at Crater Lake, Oregon, in August 1995. At right, Wild in hardcover.
Cheryl Strayed, our favorite local girl made good, has had a big week.

See Also:
- Slideshow: Cheryl Strayed: In the wild
- Cheryl Strayed on the rigors of the book tour trail, writing, and reconnecting with characters from "Wild"

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Twin Cities Book Festival takes over the Fairgrounds this weekend

Categories: Books, Festivals
Photo by Jennifer Simonson Photography
This weekend, the 13th annual Twin Cities Book Festival hits the State Fairgrounds. It's the largest literary event in the upper Midwest, and is your chance to mingle with authors and book lovers alike in a day-long extravaganza of readings, signings, socializing, and more. The family-friendly affair, presented by Rain Taxi, brings is expected to bring in about 7,000 people. 

The festival started in 2000. "We realized that all these other cities had book festivals, which was ironic because this was a book town," says Eric Lorberer, editor of Rain Taxi. Believing that the Twin Cities deserved its own festival, volunteers from local book publishers worked with Rain Taxi to get the first event started. It's been growing ever since.

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Neil Gaiman on Minnesota, Sandman, and why he can't do another signing tour

Categories: Books, Interview

Tony Nelson
Neil Gaiman before his Minneapolis signing in July. Check out more behind-the-scenes photos.
This year, writer Neil Gaiman has juggled more projects than you can count on two hands. These include releasing a children's book and an adult novel, writing his second Dr. Who episode, and gearing up for a prequel to The Sandman series. We caught up with the author on the Minneapolis stop of his last U.S. signing tour to chat about a little of everything, like what chilly Midwest winters have taught him and how he feels revisiting Sandman.

Here's more from our interview with Gaiman for our cover story: The dark night returns for Neil Gaiman.

See also:
Amanda Palmer on Neil Gaiman: He desperately loves to be surprised

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